Bureaucracy and the Boat Trip
Words by Jed Smith The Mentawais surfing experience is set for a dramatic upheaval. Come August the local authorities are implementing new regulations that limit the amount of surfers per break and will require extra fees to surf them. “Currently, many surfers must compete against each other to secure surf spots on particular beaches,” head of the […]
Words by Jed Smith
The Mentawais surfing experience is set for a dramatic upheaval. Come August the local authorities are implementing new regulations that limit the amount of surfers per break and will require extra fees to surf them.
“Currently, many surfers must compete against each other to secure surf spots on particular beaches,” head of the Mentawai Islands Tourism Agency, Desti Seminora told the Jakarta Post. “By paying certain fees, surfers will be guaranteed spots on the beach as our officers will allow a maximum of 20 surfers to surf in a particular spot every morning and afternoon.”
The fees, a pretty reasonable $75 USD, pose much less of a threat to the surfing experience than the prospect of the local Indonesian authorities standing guard over spots and dictating who can and can’t surf.
Noa Deane slobs for the afternoon light, on a dreamy right-hander in the Ments. Photo: Chris Gurney
The remote Mentawai Islands remain one of the poorest regions in Indo and are famously subject to corruption.
Ground zero for the “wave rights” struggle so far’s been Macaronis, one of the world’s funnest lefts. A land camp that works with local villagers, has implemented a controversial mooring system allowing no more than two charter boats to be stationed there at anytime.
Tensions boiled over recently, amidst claims of corruption and wrong doing from both sides, resulting in a gun pulled and fired over the heads of guests by a local official who’d come aboard a surf charter, The Huey.
An estimated 7000 surfers visited the region last year generating at least 1.75 million dollars in revenue. Where that money ended up is questionable, though the possibility of hands-on regulation of the region’s surf spots will open up an array of future possibilities.
Peace, love and Maccas. Photo: John Respondek
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